PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. ( Feb. 3, 2023) – The defending USCAA champions Florida National University’s softball team performed two momentous victories over cross-town rival Florida Memorial to open their 2023 regular season. The Conquistadors (2-0) got off to an early start in game one and managed to shut out the Lions (0-2) in the second contest of the afternoon.
This highly awaited doubleheader began with a bang as FNU jumped to a 3-0 lead after FMU’s pitcher Gabriela Pinto walked three FNU batters in a row. Yleisha Perez was the first one to make her way to home plate for an FNYU run while a double from Jordan Bohn down center field sent Megen Johnson and Sabrina Castelli in for two more runs before FNU’s time at the top of the first came to a close.
FNU’s fielding and pitching were elite, as Dakota Kulis gave up just two hits in the first three innings. In the third inning, third baseman Kaylee Pitman advanced to third base on a wild pitch and was able to score FNU’s fourth run of the afternoon after an error from the Lions.
FNU’s final run of the afternoon came in the fifth inning, as Alexis Lendo made her way to home plate for an unearned run following another FMU error. It looked to be a solid victory for the Conquistadors until the Lions found their rhythm at the bottom of the seventh as the Conquistadors gave up four runs and three hits. FMU’s final out came on a line drive to second base as both teams retired for another trip to the diamond for game two.
In the second game, FNU shut out the Lions 4-0 as pitcher Jona Goolsby allowed just two hits over her seven-inning stellar performance from the circle. Both teams were reading each other well in the first inning, as neither team recorded a run in the first.
Things started to change in the second when FNU executed four hits and Hayley Zimmerman’s single to left field, pushed Madison (MJ) Chiudina to second and allowed Ana (Gabby) De Oliveira Obando to barrel her way for an FNU run. De Oliveira Obando’s second score of game two came in the fifth inning after a single from Danika Lagodzinski allowed Obando to go in for an unearned run.
FMU’s pitching in the second outing of the afternoon left much to be desired. Morales gave up two FNU runs in the sixth inning that effectively cemented FNU’s second win of the day.
Up Next: Softball turns its attention to a doubleheader versus Warner University starting at 4 p.m.